The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the break-up of Google Thursday in a largely symbolic vote that nevertheless cast another blow in the four-year standoff between Brussels and the US Internet giant, AFP reports.
In a direct challenge to Google, MEPs assembled in Strasbourg approved a resolution calling on the EU to consider ordering search engines to separate their commercial services from their businesses.
While Google is not directly mentioned in the proposal, the California-based search engine is clearly the target. The resolution passed with 384 in favour and only 174 votes against.
The European Parliament has no power to launch the break-up of Google, but the move, introduced by two senior lawmakers, is further indication that the mood towards the company in Europe has soured.
Google has become an increasing source of worry for European officials on issues ranging from privacy to the protection of national publishers.
Since 2010, Google has been under investigation by the European Commission in response to complaints that its search engine, the world’s biggest, was squeezing out competitors in Europe.
Google and Brussels have also clashed over the so-called “right to be forgotten”, in which the EU’s top court ruled last year that people had a right to ask search engines to delete results involving them after a period of time.